Monday, May 24, 2010

This Is My Life

I think I've discovered the reason behind my unwillingness to leave my children for any length of time. (Besides the need to sniff and hold and see them, I mean. And besides the little, uptight control freak in me who wants to know exactly what they're doing at all times. And besides the sense of loss and separation which comes over me when I become more than 20 feet away from them. And besides the sense of jealousy when someone else gets to be with them instead of me. Besides all that.)

(Now, I can't remember if 'besides' is a word, or if it's supposed to be 'beside'. It looks like something I just made up now that I've written it so many times in a row. I'm so confused...)

The deeper reason isn't a pretty one. It's a fear. A selfish, lazy fear.

I've been afraid that upon spending any real length of time away from my children, I'd just...not want to be a mom any more. That I'd bask in the glow of free time and peaceful days all in a row, and be disappointed when it came time to return to my real life. That I'd suddenly see my life for what it must really be: mundane. Tiring.

When I became a stay at home mom, it wasn't because I couldn't bear to be away from my baby. At least, not entirely. There was a good portion of me that needed to keep myself firmly planted in my role. Going back and forth from a day job to my family life would have felt like pulling up roots at each place when it was time to go, and re-learning how to live in either place. I know I would have gotten used to being a working mom, but when the moment came to decide, I couldn't imagine myself doing it. I couldn't imagine being immersed in the 'real world' of adults and reason and relative calm, and then having to face the difficulty of coming back home, to the world of constant need, constant noise, and constant exhaustion.

I chose the more difficult task (for me, at that time) of staying home because I didn't want to let myself experience even a tiny bit of disappointment when the end of a workday came and I might have found myself dreading the night to come. I wouldn't let myself be disappointed.

And I think it's been the same thing with leaving my daughters for longer than a day or night. Yes, there was an honest dose of plain attachment and the overpowering need to be close to my girls, but there was a part of me that feared my own reaction. I feared the possibility of feeling disappointed with my job as a mother upon returning. And not wanting to allow those feelings, I just never left.

Until now.

I left, I missed them, I came back, and I'm still happy with them. They're still crazy and chaotic and loud. I'm still outnumbered and exhausted and impatient. But I'm also content.

This is my life, and no amount of vacation away from it can make me want something different.

This is my life, and I'm honored and blessed to have it. Every sloppy, sweet, tiring, giggle-filled, impatient moment is just as it should be.

This is my life. And I love it. And now I know that fact better than I did before.


  1. Well said. Thank you for sharing this revelation with us. As an at-home mom, I hear you. Glad you were able to get away and happy that you are enjoying being back home.

  2. I think that's a fear for a lot of us. That stepping away will make us realize what we've been missing, or wants that we might not know we have.
    But in truth, the opposite almost always happens. So glad you had that experience, to know that you can step away and things are ok, both for mama and kids.

  3. This is one of those things I've thought of occasionally but am afraid to write about. You, of course, presented it with such honesty... You "went there" and came out on the other side intact and better for it. Bravo, Sarah!

  4. Beautifully said, as always Sarah.

  5. I love the fearless honesty of this post, but Sarah, your life is so far from being mundane I'm surprised you were even worried! Seriously, (this is going to sound a little odd, but you know...) I was talking on the phone with a friend of mine (and a fellow This Heavenly Life fan) and somehow the conversation turned to you. We both spontaneously described reading about your life as being 'addictive'. Think about that: probably around the same time you were waking up, two people halfway across the world from you were talking about how intensely interested they are in each little detail of your day! Want to know why? You're NOT mundane! You're life is fabulously exciting and INTERESTING! I'm glad you're starting to see that!

  6. I love this post. So honest, and so good for the rest of us to hear. I'm so glad you know for sure that you live your life!

  7. Yes, yes, yes! You are so wise! I felt the same way about leaving my job to be at home and not wanting to feel torn between two worlds.


Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?